When Jill Swenson asked me to write a 500 word post for Swenson Book Development LLC book blog, I was apprehensive. For one, writing creatively has never been one of my strengths. But writing critiques, doing research, and procrastinating are. Helping others write is why I want to work in book publishing. Even if the publishing industry is struggling.
I refuse to say publishing is dying. Books don’t die. Just ask isthebookdead.com.
Fresh out of college, I’m working with Swenson Book Development, LLC to learn, to research, to get experience, and to connect with a networked community of book professionals. I’m not destined to become a faithful WordPress or Tumblr blogger. The blogosphere is not my preferred platform.
I don’t even consider myself a writer. I may write, but I consider myself first and foremost a Reader. Yes, that’s a capital R. Books are my best friends. Now that I don’t have assigned books to read on deadline, my post-college life has evolved into a series of lists: the books I will read for pleasure and the new music I will discover. I don’t want to ruin that sweet pleasure by taking on any more writing assignments as coercion to read a book.
This blog is from my perspective as a reader working to help authors who are in the process of publishing a book.
It’s important for anyone working with books and writing to keep on top of industry news. Staying informed isn’t the primary goal; learning is. Whether you want to work in books, with books, or create books, it is necessary in today’s market to do research. Know the trends. Know the big fish and the small fish. Figure out who is selling books, how the marketing and promotions are done, and who is buying the product.
If you are a writer, take advantage of all of the online book websites, magazines, and blogs out there. Find a blog that reviews books in your genre and addresses your niche market. From there, it’s just a comment and a click from connecting to readers. And you know what these readers will do? Buy your books. Support your business and future projects. And, more often than not, improve your writing and web content with their suggestions.
I learned on day one with Swenson Book Development that the best ideas for your business are already out there. Even if the idea needs to be shaped to suit business, creative or customer needs, someone, somewhere, has created a solution for you. Do a little research and find it.
Here’s my top 3 list for news on books, publishing, authors, writing, and book-related trends:
I check all three daily and read the articles that pique my interest when I have time. If I’m too busy, I spend five minutes on each to skim the headlines and blurbs. If there is something relevant, fun, or amusing, I post to it my preferred social media platform, Facebook. Friends comment and sometimes share interesting links back. Book news infiltrates the information superhighway and that’s where author, agent, editor, publisher, distributor, bookseller, and reader connect.
Six or seven years ago my advice to aspiring authors of nonfiction books was to build an audience platform by blogging. An example of how critical blogging could be to securing a publishing contract can be found in the case of Ann Marie Ackermann, author of Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee. After an initial assessment of her manuscript, I had recommended she start a historical true-crime blog, and she did. In fact, the editor of the ideal book series at Kent State University Press became a fan ofRead more…